The Biden-Harris Administration will be honoring Darleane C. Hoffman and Gabor A. Somorjai as recipients of the 2023 Enrico Fermi Presidential Award in a virtual ceremony June 6th, 2023, at 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time. The Enrico Fermi Presidential Award is one of the oldest and most prestigious science and technology honors bestowed by the U.S. government.
The ceremony will take place at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. For more details and to register to attend the virtual ceremony, please visit https://science.osti.gov/
The Enrico Fermi Presidential Award was established in 1956 as a memorial to the legacy of Enrico Fermi, an Italian-born naturalized American citizen and 1938 Nobel Laureate in physics, who achieved the first nuclear chain reaction in 1942. It is given to encourage excellence in research in energy science and technology benefiting humanity; recognize scientists, engineers, and science policymakers who have given unstintingly over their careers to advance energy science and technology; and inspire people of all ages through the examples of Fermi, and the Fermi Award laureates who followed in his footsteps, to explore new scientific and technological horizons.
Winners receive a citation signed by the President and the Secretary of Energy, a gold-plated medal bearing the likeness of Enrico Fermi, and an honorarium of $100,000. In the event the award is given to more than one individual in the same year, the recipients share the honorarium equally. The Fermi Award is administered on behalf of the White House by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Inspired to submit a nomination? The Department of Energy is accepting nominations for the Enrico Fermi Award NOW through July 10, 2023, 5:00 PM ET. Here’s how.
Enrico Fermi Presidential Award Laureates
The 2023 Enrico Fermi Award Winners:
Darleane C. Hoffman, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (retired)
Honored “for scientific discoveries advancing the field of nuclear and radiochemistry, for distinguished service to the Department’s missions in national security and nuclear waste management, and for sustained leadership in radiochemistry research and education.”
Dr. Hoffman is a nuclear chemist known for the study of transuranic elements, quickly decaying elements that are heavier than uranium. In 1993, she was among a group of researchers who confirmed the existence of a new element, seaborgium 106, and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1997. Dr. Hoffman is recognized with the Fermi Award for scientific discoveries advancing the field of nuclear and radiochemistry, for distinguished service to the Department of Energy’s missions in national security and nuclear waste management, and for sustained leadership in radiochemistry research and education.
Gabor A. Somorjai, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Honored “for seminal advances in molecular studies of surfaces through the use of single crystals, for the development of techniques for quantitative determinations of surface structure, and for establishing the molecular foundations of heterogeneous metal catalysis.”
Dr. Somorjai is a chemical engineer, whose research has advanced surface chemistry important for energy and clean water, in addition to a range of other contributions. He has been a leader in catalysis for more than five decades and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2001. Dr. Somorjai is recognized with the Fermi Award for key contributions in molecular studies of surfaces through the use of single crystals, the development of techniques for quantitative determinations of surface structure, and establishing the molecular foundations of heterogeneous metal catalysis.